FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — There are nearly 150 national cemeteries across the United States, one of the three in Arkansas is right here in Fayetteville. The Regional National Cemetery Improvement Corporation also known as the RNCIC was created to help maintain the cemetery and the Veterans Memorial 5K is its biggest fundraiser of the year. The money raised will go towards buying more land to keep the national cemetery going.
More than 100 people showed up to honor those who’ve served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Kenneth Sandefur, a veteran was one of the runners. “It’s really humbling to see that and especially all of the young families and young people here to support the expansion of the cemetery as well as keeping the grounds.”
President of the RNCIC, Wesley Stites said the corporation aids in the expansion and improvement of the Fayetteville national cemetery. “This is the only place in the entire country, where a local community has come together to keep their national cemetery open”
“We have so many people who serve in our state and locally and I think it’s so wonderful to have a place for those people to be buried and remembered” said Sandefur.
The RNCIC purchased a lot over the summer which will add more than two thousand grave sites to the cemetery. Stites said there is still plenty of work to be done. “It took over 10 years to acquire that land, clear it and turn it into burial spaces. We’re working to make sure that when that land is done, filled-up that we will have additional space to honor the nation’s promise to the country’s veterans.”
Events like these help the organization meet its goals. “I’ll keep doing this as long as I’m healthy. As long as I can.” Sandefur said
Construction is underway for the new burial site which will be ready in February of next year.